Looking inside Egyptian grave goods using neutrons

How can we discover and understand the contents of Egyptian grave goods without unsealing them? Neutron and gamma-ray techniques are some ways of probing their contents non-invasively and non-destructively. Elemental analysis can also provide information on the identification, manufacturing, and purpose of these grave goods. Continue reading Looking inside Egyptian grave goods using neutrons

Shining new light on historical cadmium yellow pigments with time-resolved photoluminescence microscopy

Although they look similar by eye, cadmium yellow pigments, first produced in the mid-19th century, can have different crystalline structures. These different structures, along with a range of impurities that can be present in the pigment, can have a significant impact on long-term stability. Recent work explores how spectroscopy can unravel the compositional profile of historical cadmium yellow pigments, paving the way to help better understanding the degradation of modern pigments. Continue reading Shining new light on historical cadmium yellow pigments with time-resolved photoluminescence microscopy

Green slime invasion deterred by laser guns! How finely-tuned light can be used to clean marble

Laser light can be used to blast grime off stone surfaces without affecting the stone substrate underneath. Although laser cleaning can be used in conjunction with other methods to remove different types of contaminants, here we highlight an article that uses only laser cleaning to remove biofilm from a marble statue. Continue reading Green slime invasion deterred by laser guns! How finely-tuned light can be used to clean marble

Protein analysis in heritage materials: from medical to conservation diagnosis with mini-biosensors

Immunoassay biosensors make identifying animal proteins from egg or glue in cultural heritage objects an simple task. This effort to miniaturize and simplify analysis could bring material characterization to any conservation studio. Continue reading Protein analysis in heritage materials: from medical to conservation diagnosis with mini-biosensors

From Mars to the museum: The application of full-field X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to the study of a Caillebotte painting

X-rays help researchers understand the elemental profile of an artwork. A new X-ray fluorescence imaging system, inspired by a similar system being developed for planetary exploration missions, brings high-resolution elemental mapping directly into the galleries in an accessible way. Continue reading From Mars to the museum: The application of full-field X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to the study of a Caillebotte painting